If you have been listening to the news around Windows 10 you may have heard the phrase "in-box apps".

This term is used to describe those official apps from Microsoft that are included with the installation of Windows 10.

There are six of these apps and they are actually separate from the operating system but are included to provide the user basic functionality in key areas.

They have two unique properties:

  1. They cannot be uninstalled like other Windows Store apps although you can choose an alternate app as the default for that functionality (Windows Settings>System>Default apps).
  2. Although they are installed alongside the operating system they are developed by a separate app team instead of the Windows OS team. This allows updates to the app as necessary without needing an OS update to add new functionality or bug fixes. This aspect of updating these apps is part of the Windows as a Service (WaaS) process of keeping Windows up to date.

Here are the six in-box apps for Windows 10 and their Windows Store links/descriptions:

Mail & Calendar

Mail and Calendar Windows Store Listing

"The Mail and Calendar apps help you stay up to date on your email, manage your schedule and stay in touch with people you care about the most. Designed for both work and home, these apps help you communicate quickly and focus on what’s important across all your accounts. Supports Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo! and other popular accounts."

Note: These are two separate apps but they are very closely intertwined. So closely that they are listed as one app in the Windows Store.

Microsoft Photos

Microsoft Photos Windows Store Listing

"The best place to enjoy, organize, edit, and share all your digital memories. It brings together photos and videos from all your devices, enhances them to make great photos even better, and organizes them into beautiful albums for you."

Windows Camera

Windows Camera Windows Store Listing

"The redesigned Camera app is faster and simpler than ever. Just point and shoot to take great pictures automatically. The same great camera experience is available across Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones. On any PC, tablet or phone: • Automatically back up your pictures so you can get to them on all your devices via OneDrive. • Pause and resume while you record video to help stitch together separate moments. • Jump into the picture by using the photo timer. • Compose the perfect shot using the framing grid. • Set the camera to capture either a rapid burst of shots or a video when you press and hold the on-screen shutter button. • For pro controls, drag the shutter button toward the center and adjust the dials for brightness and more."

Microsoft People

Microsoft People Windows Store Listing

"People in Windows 10 puts all the ways you connect with all your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances in one place, so it’s faster than ever to keep in touch. Check out what your people are up to across the services they use and choose how you want to connect with them."

Windows Maps

Windows Maps Windows Store Listing

"Maps is your guide to everywhere. Find your way with voice navigation and turn-by-turn driving, transit, and walking directions. Search for places to get directions, business info, and reviews. Download maps to use when you’re offline. Tour the world virtually with breathtaking aerial imagery and 360 degree street-level views. Plus, you get the same experience across all your Windows 10 PCs and phones."

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